Give the gift of hope this holiday season

TORONTO, Nov. 6 /CNW/ - Families, individuals, and corporations all over the city are helping those in need this holiday season by taking part in the Children's Aid Foundation's Surrogate Santa program ( The program, in partnership with 97.3 EZ Rock, helps thousands of children, youth, and families have a special and memorable holiday by helping provide gifts and food for those who would otherwise go without.

Donors can "adopt a family" and donate gifts to them, donate cash directly to the program, or become a virtual Surrogate Santa and raise money online. The program begins November 1st and runs until December 18th.

"We are thrilled to be partnering with 97.3 EZ Rock to help us create magical memories for families that may not have the resources for a happy holiday," said Ann Barnard Ball, Executive Director, Children's Aid Foundation. "The downturn in the economy this year means that there are more families than ever in need of support. We are issuing a challenge to our communities to help us make the holidays special for as many families as we can."

Last year, the Surrogate Santa program raised over $303,000 and helped more than 3,500 children and families across the greater Toronto area. Since its inception in 2003, the Surrogate Santa program has raised over $1 million in money and gifts for children and families in need over the holidays. This year the goal is to increase fundraising efforts to help even more families have a wonderful holiday season.

The Children's Aid Foundation helps families served by child welfare agencies with gifts and holiday meals to brighten up the season. For many of the families involved, this will be the only way they can celebrate the holidays.

To get involved with the Surrogate Santa program, visit or call 416-923-0924.

The Children's Aid Foundation is a national charity committed to improving the lives of abused, neglected, and at risk children and youth across Canada. Focusing on a three-pronged approach, the Foundation supports child welfare organizations in three critical areas: prevention, enrichment, and education. With a separate endowment that covers administrative expenses, 100% of all donations are used directly to help the Children's Aid Foundation fund programs for children and youth in need. Over the last 30 years, the Foundation has raised over $100 million and touched the lives of more than one million children and youth. Visit

SOURCE Children's Aid Foundation

For further information: For further information: MEDIA CONTACT: Rebecca Llewellyn, (416) 923-0924 ext 235,

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